Broken Matt Hardy / "Brother Nero"
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Broken Matt Hardy / “Brother Nero”, also known by the name “The Final Deletion” refers to a series of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) video segments and wrestling matches revolving around the rivalry between professional wrestlers Matt and Jeff Hardy, during which a mentally-broken Matt repeatedly refers to Jeff as “Brother Nero." Online, the narrative has gained a significant fan following and has drawn several comparisons to the 2003 cult classic film The Room.
In the 1990s, Matt and Jeff Hardy launched their wrestling career as the tag team duo The Hardy Boyz in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), gaining notoriety for their unique style, high-flying ability and use of ladders in the ring. Both brothers wrestled primarily for the WWF/WWE throughout the 2000s. Following his departure from WWE in late 2010, Matt joined his brother in TNA.
“The Final Deletion” Story
In January 2016, a storyline commenced in which Matt Hardy cheats to win TNA’s world title, much to the disappointment of his brother Jeff. In May, Matt developed the persona “Broken Matt”, featuring an updated appearance and speaking with an English accent. He continued to target Jeff with both psychological and physical attacks, culminating with a match at that year’s special pay-per-view event, Slammiversary.
On May 31st, an episode of Impact featured a segment in which Jeff is summoned to Matt’s house in order to sign a contract. Matt was shown melodramatically playing a piano and using his wife and infant son to lure Jeff into a trap. On June 1st, the segment was posted on TNA’s YouTube channel, where it gained over 700,000 views in the next month.
On the July 5th episode of Impact, the main event was an on-location video shot in the style of a B-movie, which featured an unusually theatrical match between the Hardys, at night, in a ring in Matt’s own garden. The match contained highly unlikely and over-the-top spots, such as the brothers shooting fireworks at each other, Jeff performing his signature Swanton Bomb move from a tree branch, and the amusing inclusion of Matt’s gardener during several twists in the match.
On July 7th, TNA uploaded the full match to their YouTube channel and it can be viewed below:
On July 13th, TNA uploaded another video promoting the story's conclusion, during which Matt christened the infamous dilapidated boat "Skarsgård".
On Reddit, "The Final Deletion" storyline has been widely discussed on r/SquaredCircle. Additionally, several wrestlers have shown their approval of the reinvention of Matt Hardy’s character, including Chris Jericho and Nick Jackson. The storyline has been discussed extensively on Twitter under the hashtag #BrokenMatt. Following the Impact match on July 5th, both #TheFinalDeletion and #BrotherNero hashtags trended worldwide on Twitter. Following his loss to Matt, Jeff Hardy changed his Twitter handle to "#BrotherNero DELETED. Matt has kept up the storyline across his social media accounts, claiming that all who insult or belittle him will be “deleted” just like his brother.
Woken Matt Hardy
Following Hardy's run in TNA, now known as Impact Wrestling, a legal battle intensified between the company and Hardy over use of the "Broken Hardy" gimmick. Impact demanded the Hardys not use the gimmick in any future promotions. The battle continued after the Hardys returned to WWE on April 2nd at Wrestlemania 33, and for the following several months, the Hardys wrestled under their old Team Extreme gimmick with only light references to Hardy's previous character. After Impact changed their policy and ceded creative control to the wrestlers, Hardy was allowed to return to the "Broken" gimmick, only with WWE, it is known as "Woken." On November 27th, 2017, Hardy lost a match to Bray Wyatt and began to spasm in the corner of the ring, culminating in his crying "Delete!" as he did as Broken Matt Hardy. The following week on December 4th, Hardy unveiled the Woken Matt Hardy gimmick, which is nearly identicial to Broken Matt Hardy, in a filmed promo against Wyatt (shown below).
The Ultimate Deletion
On March 19th, 2018, after months of back-and-forth feuding between Wyatt and Hardy, WWE ran "The Ultimate Deletion," a wrestling match that in many ways was similar to "The Final Deletion" in that it involved Wyatt and Hardy wrestling at "The Hardy Compound" in a pre-taped segment that saw the two wrestling across a large chunk of Hardy's property. The match featured callbacks to "The Final Deletion," including an appearance from the "Dilapidated Boat," a twist from Senor Benjamin (Hardy's gardner), and Jeff Hardy as Brother Nero. After ten minutes of wrestling, Hardy pinned Wyatt and pushed him into a lake on his property dubbed "The Lake of Reincarnation." Wyatt's body could not be retrieved, causing Hardy to declare that Wyatt was "deleted" (mirror of the match shown below).
The match was very popular among wrestling fans. The match itself was highly unusual for WWE (though they had run a "House of Horrors" match featuring Wyatt and Randy Orton one year prior that was also pre-taped and outside) and many wrestling fans expressed their amazement at the match. For example, CBS Sports Anchor Nick Kostos tweeted "I don't know whether I love or hate the #UltimateDeletion but I do know I can't take my eyes off of it" (shown below, left). eSports gamer Frank Sardoni Jr. tweeted "What the hell am I watching right now. I’m in tears. 😂😂😂#UltimateDELETION" (shown below, right). These reactions were covered by Twitter Moments.
Additionally, other professional wrestlers expressed a very positive reaction to the match. Mick Foley tweeted "I HAVE NO IDEA WTF I JUST SAW…BUT I LIKED IT!", gaining over 550 retweets and 2,200 likes (shown below). Hulk Hogan tweeted simply "I'm deleted" following the match, in an apparent endorsement of the event.
#KeyboardMatt is a series of audio-dubbed parodies featuring a video clip of American professional wrestler Matt Hardy playing the piano in a scene from a promotional video for his wrestling tag team, The Hardy Boyz, set to a variety of pop songs for comedic effect in the vein of inappropriate soundtrack remixes.
“It’s a Dilapidated Boat”
In the “Final Deletion” match, Matt shouts, “It’s a dilapidated boat!” in exaggerated and unnatural fashion after fleeing from Jeff. He then takes cover from Jeff’s rainbow onslaught behind said boat. The line was repeated several times in a Reddit reaction thread, along with other strange quotes from the match – throughout the thread, a wide array of reactions ranging from approval, amusement or even disgust with the angle.
A novelty Twitter account roleplaying as the dilapidated boat was set up on 6th July 2016, which humorously lists its location as “Cameron, NC” (the Hardys’ home town where the Final Deletion match and much of the storyline took place).
 Twitter – Chris Jericho’s response
 Twitter – Young Bucks’ response
 Twitter – Results for #BrokenMatt
 Wrestlezone – Final Deletion Trends Worldwide
 Twitter – TNA and Drew Galloway respond
 Twitter – Matt Hardy responds to Sasha Banks
 Twitter – Matt Hardy posts captioned gif of himself
 Twitter – Matt Hardy’s new t-shirts
 Reddit – Swerve of the Century
 Twitter – Dilapidated Boat Roleplay Account
 TNA on YouTube – Contract Signing for Slammiversary
 r/SquaredCircle – Post TNA Impact Discussion Thread
 Jeff Hardy on Twitter – #BrotherNero DELETED
 Wikipedia – Matt Hardy
 Twitter Moments – Wrestling fans thought WWE Raw's Ultimate Deletion was strange and wonderful
 Twitter – Hulk Hogan
Jul 07, 2016 at 12:50PM EDT
Jul 08, 2016 at 05:04AM EDT
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